Need a new hobby? Might we suggest fossil hunting? Bear with us for a second: So, it’s the pasttime of choice for Ray Stanford, who’s found hundreds of dino footprints near his home in College Park. A mere 110 million years ago, our region was overrun with them (who knew?!).
That’s why it was so exciting — to both Stanford and to the wider scientific community — when he found a fossilized baby nodosaur. While an adult nodosaur could be as big as 20 feet long, the lil’ guy found by Stanford was a mere five inches long. The hatchling’s outline was embedded in a slab of rock in the creek bed behind Stanford’s College Park home. Stanford even got to name it (he went with Propanoplosaurus marylandicus) before he donated it to the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History.
Johns Hopkins’ resident dino expert (and Jurassic Park consultant) David Weishampel hopes the find will bring more buzz to Maryland’s under-the-radar dinosaur community: “this is certainly enough to motivate more searches for dinosaurs in Maryland, along with more analysis of Maryland dinosaurs.”